Keeping a track of your baby’s development and general health is very important. Since your baby cannot communicate directly, his or her body will show symptoms of any health issues. You should be cautious about these to ensure that your baby is healthy and developing properly. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about your baby’s health:
Make sure your baby receives all the vaccines he or she needs. This will ensure that the baby does not get any major illnesses. The first round of vaccines will start with a hepatitis B vaccine within the first 24 hours, followed by vaccines for rotavirus, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and pneumococcal disease in three rounds (usually administered in the second, fourth and sixth months). Immunizations for flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A and others will be administered as your baby grows older.
You should never miss an appointment with your pediatrician, even if you do consult them on a regular basis on the phone. This is because the doctor needs to do a thorough physical checkup of the baby to know if everything is as it should be. These checkups will be scheduled frequently during the first six months.
C)Maintain a milestones diary:
Most hospitals provide new parents with a milestone diary, but even if they don’t, you should maintain a record of your baby’s development in the first 12-18 months. This will help you keep a track of your baby’s development, especially related to weight, height, cognitive development and motor skills.
There are a number of medicines and medical tools that are deemed baby-safe. Consult your pediatrician before stocking up on them. Keep them handy. These essentials must include:
- Digital rectal thermometer
- Diaper rash cream
- Baby soap
- Baby lotion
- Petroleum jelly
- Medicine droppers
- Cotton swabs and balls
- Infant acetaminophen for fever (or any other medicine recommended by your pediatrician)
- Antibiotic cream
- Tweezers and baby nail clippers
While taking care of a newborn or infant might seem difficult and overwhelming, it’s important to remember that a majority of new parents go through the same things that you will. Being informed, staying in touch with your doctor and talking to experienced parents can help in this regard. Make sure you ask enough questions – remember there are no wrong or silly questions when it comes to your baby’s safety and well-being. Here are a few things you should remember while bringing up your baby:
- Bonding with the baby early on is very important for both the mother and father. Do not assume that the bond between father and baby isn’t that important.
- Setting a routine for yourself and the baby is vital. Meals, physical activity and sleep should be regularized as soon as possible. You can start building a baby bedtime routine in the second week after your baby is born.
- Engaging family and friends in child care in the early days is necessary because it takes some load off the parents and helps the baby adapt to community and society bonds faster. Make sure to engage any older siblings, too, to make them feel included, rather than jealous of the baby.
- Both parents, father and mother, are at risk of depression because having a baby is a huge change in lifestyle. Make sure the parents take some time to rebuild their relationship and adapt to parenthood together.
- Consulting doctors and experienced parents, even socializing with other new parents, can help you understand baby development better and adapt well.